Shell to buy power from U.K.’s largest battery storage plant

Shell Energy Europe Ltd. has agreed to trade power from what will be the U.K.’s largest battery storage project.

The Royal Dutch Shell Plc unit agreed to a multi-year deal to “optimize the use of renewable power” in the China-backed project, which is expected to come online by the end of this year. Batteries, Shell says, will play a key role in the energy transition as these will be able to store excess energy and feed it back to the grid when demand calls for it.

China Huaneng Group and China’s state-backed CNIC fund are backing the Minety power storage project, which consists of two 50-megawatt batteries in southwest England. “Projects like this will be vital for balancing the U.K.’s electricity demand and supply as wind and solar power play bigger roles in powering our lives,” according to David Wells, vice president of SEEL.

SEEL and its subsidiary Limejump, will “optimize” the energy through the use of its virtual power platform which aggregates energy from a network of batteries in the U.K.

Shell acquired Limejump in 2019, as the company deepens its foray into the power industry having also bought U.K.-based First Utility Ltd. — now Shell Energy — and offshore wind company Eolfi over the last few years. The Dutch oil and gas major is investing $1 billion to $2 billion annually in its new energies business, which it aims to increase to $2 billion to $3 billion per year in 2021 to 2025.

The company’s ambition to become the world’s biggest power producer hit a stumbling block last year when it was outbid to buy Dutch utility Eneco NV by Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. and Chubu Electric Power Co.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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